Walls: Revisiting the Wall


TUE 22/10 AT 21:00 SLOTTS
FRI 25/10 AT 19:00 SLOTTS

In 1989, certain far-reaching and historically significant events took place. One of the symbols of these events is the fall of the Berlin Wall, just around this time, 30 years ago. When the Soviet Union disappeared from the world map and the fences and mine fields were cleared away from the borders that used to divide Europe, the air was full of optimism. The anxiety experienced during the Cold War was replaced by visions of freedom, democracy, and free-market economy. Within a few years, the majority of EU countries adopted a shared currency, and crossing the borders in continental Europe
became a breeze.

Today, walls are once again being built in Europe and in other parts of the world. Voters favour parties and representatives that are openly nationalist, even racist. Both Europe and the rest of the world have become wealthier, but this wealth is increasingly in the pockets of the few.

Can we analyse the world of 30 years ago through cinema? What are the paths that have led us here, and can films help us better understand today’s world?

These three programmes present films that shed light on what the world was like back in the 1980s, what happened then, and what it is like to live in a world of new walls and fences. Most likely, these films alone cannot provide suitable solutions to our problems, but perhaps they will make us think and offer new perspectives and, amidst the difficulties, some humour and hope.

A previous version of Walls was screened at Tampere Film Festival, March 2019.

Jukka-Pekka Laakso & Christoffer Olofsson


Tilda Swinton is a young woman cycling around West Berlin alongside the 150 km long, iconic symbol of the Cold War. She leads us on a journey through fields and historic neighbourhoods, past lakes and massive concrete apartment complexes, offering her thoughts and opinions on what she sees. This hippie-like longhaired girl recites poetry, picks flowers, takes pictures of the guard tower, and meets the guards.

GERMANY 1988. 27 min. DIRECTION: Cynthia Beatt


The fall of the Wall in four minutes. A musical mash-up collage with JFK, Ernst Reuter, and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

GERMANY 1989. 4 min. DIRECTION: Hartmut Jahn, Rainer Konstantin


A super-8 camera in hand, Pierre explores a city that is changing every day. What will remain of old Berlin after all that? Pierre meets colourful characters. Mario, an ex-punk, tells him how Berlin was earlier, when he lived in a squat and the Wall had just fallen. A fascinating period when the streets smelled of liberty.

FRANCE 2012. 20 min. DIRECTION: Renaud Drovin


The Dingo Fence stretches across the continent of Australia for 5000 kilometers. It might prevent northern dingoes from snatching the occasional sheep from the south, but its length is littered with the carcasses of nomadic native animals seeking food and water. It is an ecological disaster that symbolizes man’s arrogance and separation from nature. The Berlin Wall separates man from man. It makes West Berlin an artificial and vulnerable island in a political power game.

GERMANY 1982. 9 min. DIRECTION: Egon Bunne


An ordinary day in autumn 1989 at a new concrete tower block estate in northeast Berlin. Seven-year-old Marko is collecting money for his class trip with his best friend Ecki. His older siblings are fighting over the family’s only sex education book, and his grandfather has his hands full to keep his grandchildren under control. Even though Marko’s parents are on holiday, he still has to go to bed much too early. But the very next morning, something seems different. Some wall has fallen down. What’s the big deal? Can’t they just rebuild it?

GERMANY 2019. 17 min. DIRECTION: Arne Kohlweyer


This animated documentary explores childhood imaginations of what they believed to be on the other side of the Wall, having never been there.

UK 2007. 6 min. DIRECTION: Ellie Land


We’re reminded of a time in the middle of the last century when there was a strong belief on both sides of Europe that a better world was possible–that there was a light at the end of the tunnel–with each side looking to the other for inspiration. And we’re reminded of the opposite, the reversal of progress, with that idealism and confidence evaporating into our current lack of alternative politics, and how our political and economic life goes steadily backwards across the continent as social and collective bonds are loosened by implacable neoliberal market forces.

UK 2014. 7 min. DIRECTION: John Smith


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